Disclaimer: Life is really beautiful and also really freaking tough.
Over the past year, I have graduated from college, moved to a new city, started a “big girl job,” church hopped, got a tattoo, filed taxes (with 3,502 questions), and learned a T O N.
The real world is a humbling place, y’all.
College taught me incredible things about independence, relationships, and Calculus II (well… sorta). Except I graduated with more life questions.
What are my wildest dreams?
How do I get there?
When should I chase after those dreams?
Am I actually hearing the Lord right on this one?
Being considered an “adult” makes me laugh. Am I the only one who still feels like they should be awkwardly wandering throughout the halls of middle school with a crooked middle part and worn down Sperrys?!
Since graduation, I’ve struggled with going back and forth about what I wanted my future to look like. Should I stay in my current job or try something new? I’m not naturally a big dreamer, so it’s tough to figure out what I actually want to do with my life. It seems like most people already have their stuff figured from social media highlight reels.
My close friends would ask me what my heart truly desires or what my ultimate plan looked like.
Lord, bless them for their patience in getting me to talk about my own wants. Decision making is not my strong suit.
Comparison is a battle that I know God has already claimed victory over in my life. But to be completely candid, I forget and don’t live like the King of Kings has already defeated those insecurities constantly dancing around my mind.
Sometimes, those lies would sound like:
“Are you sure you’d be good enough for that?”
“Haven’t you already been rejected by that job?”
“Would your family actually approve?”
“What if it didn’t work out?”
“Is God really calling you to that?”
“Would you actually make a difference?”
Woof. I’ve listened to those voices all too often.
I’ve never been the risky one who seeks out challenges and bold moves. Even when I was little, all of my movements were premeditated and extremely cautious. Comfort is like my middle name; catch me with all of the fuzzy socks and soft blankets. So as you can imagine, making a decision that affects my whole life is not going to happen over night.
I was ready for a change in jobs, but was it the right timing? Many months were spent alone face down on the carpet of my bedroom asking for clarity. You know, the kind of sign that is literally painted in the sky or as a letter mysteriously placed in your mailbox with specific instructions and a promise of something better to come.
I wanted so badly to take my future into my hands because society screams that I am a grown woman who can make independent decisions by myself.
Spoiler alert: that tactic usually doesn’t work as well as I really truly thought it would.
However, please hear that Papa God is so sweet and puts desires in our hearts for an intentional purpose. He gives good gifts and wants to be present during every single moment in our lives.
*Side note, the Lord’s character is never one to punish if your heart is in the right place seeking to serve Him. Please don’t fall for the lie the enemy preaches that God isn’t kind.
But if He is good and provides and meets me where I am, won’t He do it again?
Sometimes, I associate discomfort with a lack of peace in order to subconsciously convince myself that God wouldn’t push me outside of my own personal bubble. Self-preservation blocks the potential for what God may have in store. My flesh naturally craves affirmation in my decisions because it freaks me out not knowing if what I’m doing is the right move. But that is a total lack of faith. I can’t expect God to move and provide immeasurably more than I can ask or imagine if I want to see into the crystal ball first.
One morning, as I was battling my next move, I felt like I heard the Holy Spirit say, “Lay down your nets.” Unsure of where I’d heard that in Scripture before, I Googled it. Because I’m a super holy Christian… just kidding.
Smile if you know that the Lord has a sense of humor.
“And they left their nets at once and followed him” (Matt. 4:20, NIV).
Ironically, Matthew 4:19 is tattooed on the inside of my right arm.
Cue the jaw drop. Coincidence? I think not.
The answer I was searching for was literally right in front of me the whole time.
Looking back, I think I got stuck in believing that God was going to do all of the hard work. It’s taken a while to get through my stubborn head that, yes, sometimes, I do actually have to physically act in faith. Even when it makes my stomach curl and teeth grind. The Lord gives us authority through the Holy Spirit to empower His children so that we may be activated in our faith through Him who is able.
He that lives within me divinely knows exactly what my heart needs to hear for clarity and peace.
He so patiently and gently reminds us yet again of what we may already know in our heart of hearts.
It was time to lay down my nets, the grip of control and independence I so badly fought to maintain. I believed that He was ready for me to close the chapter on that job.
Trying to explain quitting one job without having another is not a piece of cake; it’s not logical. Taking this major leap of faith made absolutely no sense in the business world. But I knew that the Lord was on my side in this; I knew His provision was working in ways that I could not see or fully comprehend.
Before my last two weeks were up at the old job, the Lord answered a prayer and provided me with a new job. Whew.
You’re never alone in the wilderness. Papa’s sovereignty and goodness is actually trustworthy.
I found that when I laid down my nets and trusted Him, He heard my prayer and another door opened.
I don’t know what laying down your nets looks like for you. But I hope you believe with a full heart that He is with you.
I pray that your next step of faith is full of
Peace (Num. 6:26)
Discernment (Prov. 1:4)
Obedience (Gen. 22:18)
Salt (Matt. 5:13)
Light (Ps. 27:1)
Joy (Neh. 8:10)
Yes and amen.
Featured Image by Sasan Rashtipour